The second hard lockdown in Germany has begun and the chancellor once again had to defend her course in the corona crisis before parliament. How the debate in the Bundestag went.

This year, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) was faced with the interrogation by members of the Bundestag on Wednesday for the last time. The course of the federal government in the corona pandemic would be one of the central topics. Because the second hard lockdown since the start of the crisis started on Wednesday.

The debate can be read in the ticker.

2:11 pm: Bundestag president Wolfgang Schäuble ends the last government poll of the year.

2:03 PM: Martin Sichert of the AfD asks Merkel whether American fast food chains are more important to her than family-run restaurants and why the latter received less help than McDonalds, for example. Fast food chains are certainly not more important to her, says the chancellor. She couldn’t make any concrete commitments, but Merkel promised Treasury Secretary Altmaier would address the matter again.

13:52 hours: Fabio De Masi (left) discusses the Wirecard scandal. The politician wants to know why the chancellor at the highest level in China has lobbied for the company, even though a government employee advised her to do so. Florian Toncar of the FDP is also following this up and discusses the role of ex-minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. However, Merkel does not provide specific answers here. She only says that she will comment on this in the Bundestag committee of inquiry.

13:38 hours: AfD MP Uwe Witt speaks to the forthcoming campaign to vaccinate the “population of our homeland”. He speaks of “genetically modified vaccines” and wants to know if the federal government informs about the side effects of the active ingredients. The Chancellor was quick to understand: “I notice from your question that you are not a fan of vaccination.” Laughter in the hall. Merkel asks Witt not to mention genetically modified vaccines. The Biontech and Pfizer vaccine contains “genetic components”. There will be complete transparency about the available vaccines, Merkel says and emphasizes once again that there will be no mandatory vaccination. But if not enough people are vaccinated, you will have to wear a mask for a long time.

13:25 hours: Gesine Lötzsch (left) wants to know who will pay the bill for the expensive corona packages. Does the federal government want to attract more multi-millionaires? Merkel says the key question is how more growth can be achieved. Because this is the best way to solve the income situation.

1.20 pm: Christine Aschenbach-Dugnus of the FDP criticizes the practice of handing out free FFP2 masks to vulnerable groups for free. There were long lines in front of pharmacies and conditions were chaotic. The politician wants to know whether you did not have to hand out the masks to those affected, given the contamination situation. The Chancellor replied that the procedure is currently feasible. She assures that targeted distribution will take place in January.

13:13 hours: AfD boss Tino Chrupalla begins to question the chancellor. He wants to know whether the German government intends to restart relations with the Russian government. Merkel replied that it could not be ignored that there were serious events. She was referring to the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexej Navalny and the assassination attempt in the Kleiner Tiergarten in Berlin. It is the wish of the federal government to build a good relationship with Moscow. “But you shouldn’t close your eyes to reality,” Merkel emphasizes. Against this background, Germany has a very fair policy towards Moscow.

13.09 clock: Merkel expressed the hope that by the weekend a trade deal will be concluded with the United Kingdom, which is leaving the Union. An agreement is better than none, she said. But one must also be prepared in the event of a “no deal”.

1:07 PM: The Chancellor was the first to comment on the end of the German Council Presidency in the EU. Merkel said that not everything the federal government intended has been achieved. She also pointed to the closure of the EU budget for years to come, preceded by tough negotiations.

1:05 PM: Chancellor Merkel spoke.

At the request of the CDU / CSU and SPD, the Bundestag also wants to discuss the implementation of the national vaccination strategy. The first coronavirus vaccine could be approved in the EU before Christmas. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced in Amsterdam on Tuesday that it would present its opinion on the vaccine from the Mainz company Biontech and its American partner Pfizer on December 21.

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